When I arrived at my father’s palace, apprentice Chan had a desk beside my father, looking at the death records. Chan was my childhood friend, and we had a love-hate relationship going on for 65,000 years. Although he loved bullying me, I knew that he would also be the first (among other people) to protect me if any danger would arise.
“Why do these mortals die so fast?” He grumbled after looking at the papers in his hands. “Their life span is at most 50 years if they don’t cultivate! And one mortal died from getting kicked in the balls!”
“Maybe he hit his head against a rock?” I suggested.
Chan harrumphed in reply.
My father looked up from his papers. “Welcome back, Juju. How is your mother?” He knew I came back from visiting her in the Jade Palace.
“She’s fine. She said you’re an adulterer.” I grinned slyly.
Father trembled and his face looked like death (how fitting for him to be the God of the Netherworld).
“I never! She has always been the one I loved!”
Father looked like he was going to cry, so I patted him on the shoulder. “She found out, thanks to me, that you weren’t an adulterer after all. She might come to the palace soon and revoke the divorce. That is why, you owe me.”
He looked at me curiously, and hesitantly asked, “What is it you want?”
My smile broadened. “I’m going on a trip to the mortal realm, and you won’t be able to stop me.”
“What!” He spluttered.
“Yes, father. Don’t interfere with me in the mortal realm, alright? I’m going to do things my own way.”
He looked like he was going to puke any minute. “Dear daughter, why must you go to the mortal realm? There are so many things there that will sully your innocence! The atrocious sins they commit time and again…and if they saw a beauty like you–” his expression blackened as he stared into space, as though his soul was leaving him.
I shook him hard. “Father! You’re thinking too much!”
He started to sob. “My daughter is leaving me.”
I rolled my eyes and looked at Chan for support. He merely shrugged his shoulders and continued reading, as if this situation had nothing to do with him. I wanted to hit him on the head.
“I’ve had permission from the Emperor as well, so it’s fine. Father, I want to see how the mortal realm is like for the first time. I’m already 70,000 years old, and yet I have not experienced it at all! Shouldn’t my own trial happen already?”
“Ah?” He looked away suspiciously.
“I’ve only read about the mortals in books or learned about them from the departed souls. I want to see how it is like!” And also to find my Jin Lei! But I didn’t want to tell my father that, lest he would chain me up and drag me to the underground cellar.
He looked at me, then sighed. He looked at me again for a long time, then sighed again heavily.
“I understand. Juju, you must take care.” His eyes were moist as he clasped my hand. “When will you be leaving?”
That one word pierced his heart, and he sat against his chair like a dead fish. I ignored him and spoke to Chan.
“Do you think I should bring something with me when I descend?” I asked as I stood in front of him.
“You’re not going to go through the reincarnation cycle?” He sat on his chair lazily as he looked up at me.
“Not this time. I’m still a newbie, so I want to have my powers as a deity with me. I don’t think I can stand being so powerless yet. What if something bad were to happen?”
“That sounds absurd to me. Something bad always happens when you’re around.”
I suddenly wanted to wipe that stupid smirk off of his face. I hid my raging fist behind my back.
“I’ll still have a body that can die in the mortal realm anyway…unless someone strikes my soul…” The thought made me shudder. If someone shattered my soul, I was a goner. I would definitely disappear from the world. Being an immortal wouldn’t help if the soul itself vanished.
“Good luck with that.” Chan shrugged again and picked up his papers. “You don’t have to bring anything with you. If you do, the mortals will go crazy. Even that hairpin on your head could buy approximately two kingdoms or more.”
What. It was that valuable?
“You’ll know when you get there. You can simply conjure money with your magic. Also dress as plain as you can if you want to mingle with the commoners. Although…” He looked at the dress I was wearing. “…everything in your closet is too expensive and may attract a lot of unwanted attention. You better learn to sew and cook. We immortals don’t need to eat, but mortals do.”
I nodded my head. I had already read books about them before, so I already had a gist of what to do. Although I may seem quite a silly person, I had quite a good memory and was able to learn fast if I put my heart into it. I would just have to ask for cooking and sewing books again from Siming, who had too many random books at her disposal. These past years I had devoured almost every book she owned, ranging from romance, medicine, economics and even to tactical warfare. I certainly had too much time on my hands.
“I understand.” I nodded my head. “Thank you, Chan! You give better pointers than my father.”
I gave the aforementioned person a sideways glance, but he still looked numb and unable to comprehend anything due to the shock he received.